If you’re like me, you spent your childhood dreaming of lights you could control by clapping. The Clapper’s premise was brilliant: no more getting out of bed to hit the light switch. You can still buy the Clapper! But technology has come a long way since then. Now you can control the lights, set timers and schedules, and change colors with your smartphone or your voice if you have a smart assistant—no clapping required.
If you want to make your home just a little smarter, smart bulbs are a great place to start. Most options are relatively cheap, and they’re easy to install. Plus, there are no cameras or door locks for someone to hack into. If you want to smarten up your home even more, most of these brands have a list of other products too like security cameras and plugs.
Do you want to try voice controls? Consider getting a smart speaker or smart display. But you can always use the bulb’s app.
Updated September 2021: We added the Cync Direct Connect bulb as our top pick, as well as more information. We also added a light strip pick.
Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you’d like). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.
If you buy something using links in our stories, we may earn a commission. This helps support our journalism. Learn more. Please also consider subscribing to WIRED